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POSTED: January 20, 2007

A few days ago I was chatting on Skype with Christina and she used the word microlearning. I asked if it was a technical term or a word she had made up, thus revealing the gaping holes in my knowledge even in areas I am interested in. She brought Ralf into the conversation and he brought us up to speed on microlearning which was the subject of his thesis, I believe.

I suspect that gaping holes are an inevitable feature of the infoscape in a knowledge society. More accurately, I hope that they are, otherwise I am simply not as clever as my certificates would suggest. The certificates don’t lie, do they?

The Microlearning Page on Wikipedia is a good starting point for understanding what this emergent concept is actually being used for. A useful next stop might then be Microlearning.org where there are conference proceedings and an assortment of papers.

I then came across an interesting, and more or less related, page about a book being written collaboratively called The Future of Learning in a Networked World that seems worth exploring.

Finally, Ralf pointed me towards Informal Learning – the Other 80%, which is a lengthy paper by the Internet Time Group that “addresses how organizations, particularly business organizations, can get more done”. This is about informal education but is directly related to discussions about networking, digital natives and similar topics.

The concept of digital natives, by the way, was originated by Marc Prensky who has several sites, including Twitchspeed.com, which is the official site for his book Digital Game-based Learning.

The two papers in which Prensky outlines his ideas about the differences between digital natives and digital immigrants, and their importance for education, are available for download from his site, along with many other papers. Part one looks at the general ideas, and part two seeks to provide factual evidence for the theory.